Date: November 6, 2009
From: Berea, Kentucky~ the Folk Arts and Craft Capital of Kentucky
To: Berea, Kentucky
Miles Today: 0 miles
TOTAL MILES: 3,090 miles
Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph
Weather: 70s and Sunny~Shorts Weather in November!
License Plates Collected: 5 Montana, 8 Wyoming (2 motorcycle) and 1 Idaho (found in WY), 2 Colorado, 1 Kansas (Gifted from David of Baldwin City), 1 Missouri (To be sent to Grammy’s by our new buddy, Kansas City firefighter Shawn), 1 Illinois, 4 Kentucky (2 Gifted from Beth and Garry Feltus, one gifted from cousin John, one from Hwy. 127)
Broken Spokes: 3
Cracked Rim: 1
We started our morning back across the street at the Black Feather Cafe. As we were leaving last night someone was raving about the egg, ham and cheese biscuits they served there and the Black Feather didn't disappoint. The coffee was excellent too. At breakfast we met Glenn, an assistant forester, who told us we'd be riding through some beautiful country coming up as we head into the Cumberland Gap. He wanted to hear all about our adventure and invited us to come back this evening at 7 P.M. to listen to him play with his band "The Sundogs." We did just that and also had some incredible autumnal chicken pot pie pizza made with local produce. I overheard a gentleman there say that the green beans came out of his garden.
Outside the cafe door we first met Dusty, the yellow lab, and then we met his owner Steve Hosfeld who just happened to own Hosfeld's Jewelry around the corner. I don't know how we got on the subject of lapidary but we were soon telling him about my grandparents who were lapidrists and how Gregory and I have a love of rocks and minerals. We started talking about agates and soon we were in his jewelry shop looking at some rare red and black banded Kentucky agate. He even gave Gregory a small piece for his collection as well as a fire agate and a piece of amber. His hospitality didn't stop there as he made a call and put us in touch with Alice Hooker at Berea College. She said she would gladly open the Geology Museum for us to have a private tour!!
The museum was incredible to say the least. We saw more Kentucky agate and lots of Fluorite like we'd discovered back in Hardin County in Illinois. There were Indian artifacts and fossils and all kinds of rocks and minerals. They even had a T-Rex and a Triceratops skull. I think Gregory impressed Alice with his knowledge of herbivores (plant eaters with grinding teeth), carnivores (meat eaters with cutting teeth) and omnivores (like we humans who eat both plants and animals). He also told her the three types of rocks and was able to identify quite a few specimens. Gregory got to check out a seismograph, an instrument that measures and records details of earthquakes, such as force and duration. He was able to jump up and down creating seismographic activity that was recorded and projected on the computer screen right before our eyes. He was able to make the needle jump up and down just by standing in one place and hopping.
Before Alice took us to the Geology Museum she explained to us about how the earth rotates around the sun and is always moving. (Mike got to be the sun while Gregory twirled around him as the Earth.) Then she placed a penny under the The Foucault Pendulum that they have in the Science Hall and told us that when we got back from the museum we could see where the penny was in relation to the movement of the pendulum. Sure enough, though the pendulum was still swinging in the same place, it was no longer swinging directly over the penny. It appeared that the penny or pendulum had moved though neither had. The Foulcault Pendulum is a direct demonstration that the Earth rotates. The Earth had moved over the hour or so we were in the museum, not the penny or pendulum!! It was very interesting.
We thanked Alice and headed over to College Square where we had a delicious lunch at the Main Street Cafe. My Greek salad was fabulous but the bites I had of Mike's chocolate peanut butter pie afterward were decadent. We spent hours browsing the Appalachian Arts & Crafts shops and especially enjoyed a visit with Warren May who is a woodworker specializing in Dulcimers. The dulcimer is a beautiful stringed instrument typically made out of walnut, cherry or poplar (which was the original choice of the mountain dulcimer craftsman). Warren showed Gregory his special "tick-tock" method of playing the instrument (tick-tock like your heart) and then he gave Gregory a pick and they played a tune together. The whole shop gave a round of applause and Gregory was beaming. Later tonight when I played my recording back on the computer he said, "I know that song. It is Grandfather's Clock." At first I really didn't believe him but he sang the words to me and I realized he'd learned it from his music teacher Mr. Gronseth back at Pondersosa Elementary School in Paradise, California. That warmed my heart and made me thankful for great teachers like Mr. Gronseth.
We wandered back over to Old Town where we are staying above Weaver's Bottom Studio owned by Neil and Mary Colmer. We explored a few more shops including Powdermill Pottery where we met Jeff and Lisa Gieringer and where Gregory met yet another kitty friend. While Gregory played with the kitty we visited with Jeff and Lisa and looked at their beautiful pottery. Lisa invited us to come watch her work tomorrow but we had to decline since we'd already taken today off and must head east and take advantage of this beautiful weather. (Did I mention that Gregory and Mike wore shorts and short sleeves today? It was probably around 70 degrees!) Unfortunately I had to hurry us along because it was approaching 6 P.M. and I wanted to return to Top Drawer Gallery across from Weaver's Bottom to purchase and ship a couple of Christmas gifts.
Mike continued to visit and I once again gently explained that we were trying to make a purchase before closing. I tell you this because when we got to Top Drawer Gallery at 5:30 P.M. the lights were being turned out and the door was locked. I was really disappointed and as you can imagine pretty upset with Mike. So, not wanting to explode or cry, I just turned around and went across the street to sit on the porch of our B & B. Lucky for all of us Mike thought to try to catch Jerilu, the Gallery Manager, on her way out the back door. Gregory ran over to her and came back to tell us she would let us in the back and that we could make our purchases. If Jerilu hadn't have been so kind and accommodating Mike would have never heard the end of it. I'd seen the item I wanted the night before and had been thinking about it all day while we checked out all of the shops to see what was available. Waiting until the last minute was not the best idea but it all worked out in the end.
Berea is a very inspiring place especially if you have artistic tendencies such as I do. Looking at all of the outstanding arts and crafts in this area really made me appreciate all of the amazing artists in the Chico and Paradise, California communities back where we used to live. It really made me want to get busy and create something beautiful to share with others. Everyone we met today really brought a good feeling to my heart. Those are the types of people I want to surround myself, people who love life and are busy living it to the fullest. I read a poster the other day with a quote by Lance Armstrong that said something to the effect that he only had good days and great days now. Well, he beat cancer and so as you can imagine there is no such thing as a bad day for him. Wouldn't it be grand if everyone looked at life as good days or great days? The world would be a happier place.